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If They Find You at All, Website Visitors are for Show - But Conversions are for Dough!,
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This review is from: Convert!: Designing Web Sites to Increase Traffic and Conversion (Paperback)
I met the author at the Ken McCarthy seminar in 2008 mentioned in the introduction, so I was able to witness the birth of this book.
Ben Hunt has created an essential resource for any serious company or individual who needs a website that both attracts and satisfies a clearly defined audience, whether existing or new.
As an AdWords PPC Campaign Management Consultant since 2005, I have experienced constant frustration with business owners who can't or won't take their website seriously enough, by treating it as a constant work-in-progress to be continuously crafted and improved for their ideal visitor response.
I call such websites "concrete websites" for obvious reasons.
Many of these have unwittingly fallen victim to their own desires above those of their potential customers, or a website provider who has no clue at all about designing a site for both traffic, and conversions.
As Ben realised and addresses comprehensively in "Convert!" - without testing, tracking, and measuring both visitors and sales, any website will either fail or not reach its potential.
Since a large investment in money, time and expectation is usually at stake, it makes no sense to invest in an online presence which is doomed to failure right from the start.
If you're not being found when people look for you, or if all people do is leave as soon as they arrive, your website truly has no purpose.
Ben provides clear guidance on how to research, design, structure, and expand your website from the most important aspects of user engagement and profitability.
By constantly testing and improving the quality, quantity and responsiveness of your visitors, your business will be able to confidently expand its online presence, and increase the reach and performance of your products and services.
In today's world of short attention span, constant interruptions, search engine rankings, pay per click programs, online shopping, and the desire for instant gratification, the need for a book like Ben's has never been greater.
In it you'll find many before and after case studies, screen shots, workflows, and common sense things to try out on your own web pages.
Of particular interest to me were sections on:
- the "awareness ladder"
- user engagement
- calls to action
- benefits vs features
- designing for conversion
- the prize for the visitor
- brevity and ease of use
The only area I felt he could increase his content on was the Google AdWords Pay per Click program, as a strategic driver of highly targeted and instantly available traffic-on-demand, which is the life-blood of rapid testing for both sales conversions and real-time market research.
However, since this is an enormous and ever-expanding body of knowledge in its own right, its omission was forgiveable, and there are several other excellent books dedicated to it.
Reading Ben's book gave me many ideas for my own business and website, and with all the notes I made in it, it will become an essential handbook for success, for me and my clients.
-- David Rothwell | Google AdWords Management Consultant